By: Hillel Aron
LOS ANGELES (CN) — A federal judge said Monday she would probably deny Los Angeles City Council member Mark Ridley-Thomas’ request to be tried separately from co-defendant Marilyn Louise Flynn, a former USC administrator, on bribery and fraud charges. The judge also established the trial start date as November 15.
“I will very likely deny the motion to sever,” U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer said in court, though she ordered federal prosecutors to file a supplemental brief to help her write her ruling. “It would be easier,” she said, “if I didn’t have to do the work of the lawyers.”
This past October, authorities indicted Ridley-Thomas and Flynn on 20 criminal counts relating to a bribery scheme in which the former county supervisor is suspected of agreeing to throw his support behind granting various county contracts to USC’s School of Social Work, which Flynn was the dean of, in exchange for a series of favors for Ridley-Thomas’ son Sebastian. The younger Ridley-Thomas, a former member of the state Assembly who resigned after being accused of sexual harassment, was allegedly given tuition-free admission to the school, a paid professorship, and a mechanism to funnel his father’s campaign funds through the university and into a nonprofit the son controlled.
In particular, Ridley-Thomas’ lawyers say statements made by Flynn to a third party will incriminate the longtime local politician. While the evidence would be admissible in trying Flynn, it would be hearsay in the case against Ridley-Thomas, the lawyers argue.
Read the full article here.MRT-motion-to-sever